Menu Search
Direct ISA

Tax free. And easy.

Save up to £20,000 without paying a penny in tax on the interest

Direct ISA: facts and figures

  • Rate 1.00% tax-free/AER (until 30 April 2017)

    0.75% tax-free/AER (from 1 May 2017)
  • Access No notice, no penalty
  • Tax Tax-free

Suitable for savers who:

  • want to earn tax-free interest
  • are happy to use their account online or by phone
  • have not invested in a cash ISA in the 2017/18 tax year

Not for savers who:

  • want to invest their full allowance in a stocks and shares ISA and/or an innovative finance ISA
  • prefer to use their account at a branch or by post
  • have invested or plan to invest in a cash ISA from another provider this tax year
  • want to transfer in ISA investments from another provider
  • want a flexible ISA

Summary box: key product information

Summary box

Account name

NS&I Direct ISA

What is the interest rate?

1.00% tax free/AER until 30 April 2017
0.75% tax free/AER from 1 May 2017

We calculate the interest daily and add it to your account once a year on 6 April.

Can NS&I change the interest rate?

Yes - the rate is variable so we can change it up or down from time to time, for example when the Bank of England base rate changes or when rates in the general savings market change. See paragraph 10 of the terms and conditions for more details.

We’ll give advance notice of any rate changes by publishing adverts in a range of newspapers and by updating our website. When the rate is going down, we’ll also contact you personally in advance to let you know.

What would the estimated balance be after 12 months based on a £1,000 deposit?

A £1,000 deposit would be worth £1,010.00 after 12 months, if the interest rate stayed at 1.00% tax-free/AER (the rate until 30 April 2017) during the 12 months.

A £1,000 deposit would be worth £1,007.50 after 12 months, if the interest rate stayed at 0.75% tax-free/AER (the rate from 1 May 2017) during the 12 months.

These are illustrations only, so they don’t take into account your individual circumstances. They assume that you don’t make any withdrawals or additional deposits during the year.

How do I open and manage my account?

Our Direct ISA is a cash ISA for customers aged 16 or over who are resident in the UK for tax purposes. You can open an account in your own name only.

You can:

  • apply for, and manage, a Direct ISA online or by phone only
  • open an account with at least £1, paid by a debit card in your own name, issued by a UK bank
  • pay in up to £15,240 in the 2016/17 tax year and up to £20,000 in the 2017/18 tax year

If you want to switch to a Direct ISA from another NS&I account or investment:

Download an application form

Call us

Can I withdraw money?

Yes, you can take out money online or by phone with no notice or penalty. You just need to keep a balance of at least £1 to keep your account open.

Our Direct ISA is not a ‘Flexible ISA’. This means that all your deposits within the tax year will count towards your allowance, whether or not you make any withdrawals.

Additional information

The interest you earn is tax-free, so it won’t count towards your Personal Savings Allowance.

Find out more about tax and savings

Bear in mind that the tax advantages you receive from ISAs depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.

We’ll send you an electronic statement in April each year, showing all your transactions and interest. Or you can receive your statements by post if you prefer.


Tax-free means the interest is exempt from UK Income Tax.

AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) illustrates what the annual rate of interest would be if the interest was compounded each time it was paid. Where interest is paid annually, the quoted rate and the AER are the same.

Using your account

Using your account

You can look after your Direct ISA online and by phone. You’ll be able to log in or call us to check your balance, review your transactions and change your personal details. We’ll send you an annual statement every April – you can choose to go paperless or get it by post.

  • Pay money in and take it out

    Pay in by standing order, bank transfer or with your debit card. All your deposits must be from a UK bank account in your own name.

    Standing order

    Give your bank our payee details:

    Payee name: NS&I
    Account number: 11994808
    Sort code: 08 31 20

    You must quote your Direct ISA account number as the reference, so that the payment reaches the right account.

    Tell the bank how much you want to pay, when and how often.


    Print and complete a standing order form and give it to your bank.

    To cancel, contact your bank – not NS&I.

    Bank transfer

    You can make one off deposits by bank transfer. Give all the above details to your bank and tell them how much you want to pay. For large amounts, check your bank’s upper limit for electronic payments.

    Debit card

    Log in or call us with your debit card details.

    Take money out

    Log in

    Call us

    We’ll pay your payment within three working days..

    You can also send payments to your international bank account.

Apply now Top up your account